Sept. 20, 2013
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - The No. 21 Boilermaker volleyball team found its offensive groove in a 3-0 sweep of Syracuse Friday night on Belin Court. Purdue won the match 25-15, 25-15, 25-17 and outhit the Orange .391 to .124 in the contest for its sixth-straight victory.
Junior KiKi Jones led the Boilers with 10 kills, while hitting at a .643 clip and adding a team-high four blocks. Junior Val Nichol and sophomore Sam Epenesa added nine kills apiece, while hitting .438 and .318 respectively. Epenesa also served up three aces in the match. Redshirt senior Katie Griffin chalked up seven kills while hitting .429 in the contest.
Defensively, redshirt senior Carly Cramer pulled up a match-high 15 digs, while Epenesa added a career-high eight saves and senior Hilliary Fox chipped in seven. The Boilermakers also outblocked the Orange 6-4.
Syracuse scored two of the first three points of the night, but a pair of kills by sophomore Annie Drews and an ace by Cramer quickly put the Boilers on top . The teams remained close, however, tr4ading points through the first 12 serves, leading to a tie at 6-6. Putaways by redshirt freshman Faye Adelaja and Griffin helped Purdue to a 9-6 edge. The Orange cut the margin to two at 11-9, but the Boilermakers used a 5-0 run to vault ahead by seven at 16-9. The Boilers led by as many as nine before closing out the set at 25-15 on a block by Jones and Epenesa. Jones had four kills in the stanza, while Epenesa, Adelaja and Drews added three apiece.
Trailing 3-0 in Set 2, the Boilers got three kills from Epenesa and help from an SU error to turn the deficit into a 4-3 edge and never looked back. The teams tied at 5-5, but an ace by Epenesa and two Orange miscues highlighted a 4-0 run which made it 9-5 Purdue. Syracuse made it a one-point game at 11-10 and again at 14-13, before the Boilermakers pulled away. An 8-0 run featuring three straight kills by Nichol as well as a pair of blocks by Jones made it 22-13 Boilers. The Orange stopped the rally with two of the next three points, but a service error and a stuff by Nichol and Adelaja capped the 25-15 win.
The Boilermakers rallied from an early deficit again in Set 3, turning a 3-1 score into a 6-4 lead, thanks to kills by Nichol, Drews and Epenesa. Purdue led it 9-6 after an Epenesa ace, but Syracuse rebounded to knot the score at 10. The Boilers scored five of the next seven to gain a 15-12 edge. An ace by redshirt freshman Kate Workman and a few Orange miscues made it 20-14 Purdue. SU pulled within five at 20-15 and 21-16, but would get no closer as the Boilermakers ended the night with four of the final five points. A pair of kills by Griffin and a pair of Syracuse errors gave Purdue the 25-17 win. The Boilermakers hit at a .433 clip in the final stanza, which featured four kills apiece by Nichol and Griffin.
The No. 21 Purdue team (7-2) returns to action at noon Saturday when it faces off with the Northern Kentucky Norse. The Boilermakers wrap up the non-conference season and Active Ankle Challenge with a 7:30 p.m. contest against Florida International.